The clock is running out on opportunities to resolve the Israel - Palestinian conflict as right wing Jewish fundamentalists refuse to accept the reality of an independent Palestinian state. Saeb Erakat, chief Palestinian negotiator, confirmed there has been a formal request from his government to the European Union seeking its support for a unilateral declaration of independence. Erakat bluntly accused the Israel government of “stealing Palestinian lands and building settlements and barriers aiming to finish off the two-state project.” His comments resulted in threats from Israel officials that any unilateral action might lead to reprisals such as annexing more of the West Bank.
Palestinians and Arab nations are frustrated at the refusal of the Netanyahu government to halt settlement construction and the apparent back-sliding of Barack Obama to carry out his promise of being an independent mediator. Right wing bully, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned of a “unilateral move on our part.” But, Israel has been making unilateral decisions for over a decade! It is time for the European Union to stand behind the legitimate rights of Palestinians.